Today was my last storytime until July. We take a break since everything is so crazy in June with Summer Reading visits and sign ups and no school. Usually, I’m not a fan of storytime breaks. I’ve always believed a big part of our job is storytime and we shouldn’t get a “break” from our job unless we go on vacation or whatever. BUT. The tables have turned in my brain and now I believe there are sometimes really good reasons for breaks. This break is the first one I have EVER been glad for. And here’s why:
When I started this job in June last year, we were moving in to a new library. I was assigned to do preschool storytime and some after school school age programming. It was all fine and good, but in January the librarian who did toddler storytime got a great new job and moved on. I LOVE toddlers so was quick to request that storytime. The leaving librarian’s replacement would take over preschool storytime and I got my beloved toddlers (plus no one else was even slightly interested in them). We had already planned on adding a second baby storytime to take place right before our 10:30 slot in hopes of reducing those numbers and I was going to be responsible for the 9:30 baby storytime and a library assistant who had been doing the 10:30 slot would continue. Then SHE left us! So, that meant I took over both baby storytimes (again with no one wanting it-crazy people!).
That’s a long story, but it gives the background for why I’m SO happy to have this break.
Storytime breaks GOOD:
-Starting a new session makes storytimes seem brand new and exciting
-Librarian can introduce new “guidelines” and reiterate old ones so everyone is on the same board with expectations
-We get some extra time to plan so we feel refreshed when we start back up
-Provides the perfect opportunity for patrons to graduate to other storytimes
Storytime breaks EVIL:
-Patrons are inconvenienced and VERY angry about missing storytimes
-Patrons get out of the habit of coming to the library and we may lose a few permanently
The EVIL is not bad enough for me to still hate breaks. I added a Dance Party on Mondays for the month we are not having storytime so patrons are much happier now that they have something to do to replace storytime.
So the storytime breaks non-believer has been made a believer. It’s shocking. Really.
After having to take over from two storytellers with VERY different styles from my own, I welcome the chance to kick off a new session with my rules and style and no “But Miss so and so always did it that way.” This librarian is getting her confidence back! And this break is going to be just the thing to do it.
How do you feel about breaks? Good or evil?
If you take breaks, how do you start a new session? New songs, rhymes, etc.? New rules? Do you tell everyone the rules before the first storytime or have a handout? Don’t care about expectations at all? Why?